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Rovane Williams looks to get back on track in pet event

SAN JOSE, Costa RicaSince his breakout 2018 season when he set the ISSA Champs record in the Class One 400m hurdles and then won at the Penn Relays, not much has been heard from former Rhodes Hall High intermediate hurdler Rovane Williams. Despite being one of the top Under-20 400m hurdlers in the world last year, he finished out of the top two at the JAAA National Junior Trials last year and was left off the team to the IAAF Under-20 Championships in Tampere, Finland.

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He ran 49.94 seconds to win at ISSA Champs and then won at the Penn Relays with 51.22 seconds in less than ideal conditions. Turning up late for the event, Williams appeared to have things right where he wanted them as he made plans for his future.

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His first option, he said, was to go to college, but a series of events conspired to make him change his course and end up in a club based in Baltimore, Maryland, where he is being coached by former Jamaican quarter-miler Sanjay Ayre.

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Williams, who will run the first round of the 400m hurdles at the 20th Pan-American Under 20 Championships in San Jose, Costa Rica today, told the Jamaica Observer he was still optimistic he will be able to achieve his best in the event eventually.

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First there was a delay in getting his student visa, he told the Observer on Thursday in Costa Rica, and then by the time he was able to get the visa granted he had about a week to get to the USA, but his family could not come up with the required funds in time

He has shaken that off, however, adding that while he is making several technical changes to how he runs the event, he has also been hampered by injuries

“Things have been going well,” he said. “I had some small injuries and [I am] trying to work myself back into top condition.”

Because of the changes being made to his running style he says he is not able to hurdle with both legs, that is alternate his lead leg over the barriers, “so that is one of the things that set me back. I am faster over the 400 metres and that has also affected my rhythm, and we are working on different aspects of the race so it has been up and down — and hopefully by next year it should be worked out”

For the Pan-American Championships, Williams said his main goal was to execute a good race plan, “just get around the track and see what time I will get. I am not pressuring myself to run too fast”

—Paul Reid

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